Active teaching on the job for tourism companiesHotel employees, waiters and tourist guides – many employees in the tourism sector in Europe do not have a specific education for their job. How can their skills be enhanced through a practical training that fits into their job routine? The TTRAIN project has an answer for this: the TTRAIN curriculum qualifies tourism employees for organisation of on-the-job training for their fellow employees. It has been developed on the basis of the “Stepping stones” learning model for vocational trainers, which has already been used in Iceland for 10 years.

Following a Gap Analysis, which analysed the current situation of the tourism sector in the partner countries (Austria, Finland, Iceland and Italy), and which identified the most important professional skills in tourism companies, the learning model was adapted and tested by the TTRAIN partners. In the last months pilot training courses were organized in all countries, involving participants from diverse tourism companies: hotels, restaurants, bars, camp sites, tour operators, and transport companies. The course had the duration of ca. 40-50 hours: half of the time was organized as on-site training, and half as individual learning at the working place/at home.

Topics of the Pilot training courses were, amongst others:

  • Effective communication with fellow employees and with clients;
  • Fostering employee development and enhancing motivation;
  • Organizational awareness;
  • Adaptability to ambiguous and changing situations;
  • Problem solving;
  • Identification of learning needs and development of learning plans.

All topics were treated in an interactive way, using active learning methods such as structured discussions, role plays, case studies and group work activities. In the break between two on-site lessons participants were asked to apply what they had just learned in their company – e.g. providing effective feedback to fellow employees, or develop a learning plan for a new colleague.

At their meeting on 19th and 20th September 2016 in Kajaani/Finland the TTRAIN partners exchanged about the results of the pilot training courses. All in all, the feedback from participants has been very positive in all partner countries – an Icelandic participant commented, for example: “It would be great to see this training develop and grow, certainly something I would recommend to others.” The evaluations both from participants and trainers provided also useful recommendations for further improvement of the TTRAIN curriculum. These suggestions are now incorporated into the learning model, and the final curriculum with teaching material will be published soon on the TTRAIN Learning Portal – an open access platform that will be set up on the TTRAIN website.

Get inspired and learn more about active training for tourism companies: follow the TTRAIN project on the website, on Facebook and Twitter! The TTRAIN project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, Key Action 2 – Strategic Partnerships in the field of Vocational Education and Training.